‮צחוק הגדול. כלים לנרות נשמה ונרות זיכרון באמנות יהודית עכשווית של אסכולת בצלאל‬‎ Keep It Light. Vessels for Memorial and Remembrance Candles in the Contemporary Jewish Art of the Bezalel School

in Catalog of Catalogs Online

(237 words)

Editor & Curator

Shirat-Miriam Shamir, Ido Noy


Jerusalem, Israel, 2017. 68 pp.*, 47 pp., illustrations: 72 col., 24 × 21 cm. Hebrew and English.


Skirball Museum of Biblical Archaeology, Taube Family Campus, Jerusalem (1 October–16 November 2017)


An exhibition that addressed the end of life, a painful topic that for many is a watershed in the topography of the life cycle. Despite the seriousness and gravity of the subject, this exhibition focused on black humor, irony and absurdity. Through the display of vessels for memorial and remembrance candles created with unusual and innovative perspectives, the exhibition aimed to surprise and stimulate the viewer to reconsider the place of death within the life cycle, the mourning process and the religious customs associated with each. Curators’ introduction to the exhibition followed by four articles which expand upon the concept of death in Judaism, Jewish law and folk customs in general: customs and concepts connected to the lighting of memorial candles in the Jewish world (Daniel Sperber), the medieval perspective on Judaism and the use of “Synagoga” as a polemical metaphor (Sara Offenberg), Jewish communities’ attitudes towards death and how black humor developed to address it (Ruvik Rosenthal), and the iconographic, stylistic and commercial development of Israeli memorial candles and memory (Shalom Sabar). Full-page entries for each exhibit. 30 items.

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